Stick to Your Duties

Women want to be led. Of course, we don’t always act like it. In fact, sometimes we resist it like crazy. But despite all this, God has created woman to be led by her husband, and He has created in the woman the desire for strong male leadership.

When a woman is married to a capable man with a keen sense of purpose and a heart obedient to God, she has immense possibilities for security and freedom in her submission to him. Under such loving influence, a Christian woman can thrive both spiritually and emotionally. As he serves God in his calling, she can provide incredible help and support to him. This is the ideal situation.

But what about the women who are married to men who are not interested in leading, who have neither drive nor direction? What can a woman in a marriage like that do?

I believe a woman who is stranded in such a marriage should turn to her duties. Just because he is failing at his duty to lead, does not mean she can make things better by failing at her own God-assigned duty to respect her husband.

Now this can be difficult. It is far easier to point out the failings of her husband than to focus on her own. But, as my husband is fond of saying, you can always make things worse. Let’s try instead to make things better. It makes no sense to join in on the disobeying.

So if a wife in a difficult marriage does her best to fulfill her obligations to God, she is guaranteeing that she will be blessed. God always blesses obedience, and He never blesses disobedience, whatever the justification for it. And when a woman rolls up her sleeves and gets to work on her own duties, she can find a great deal of joy and satisfaction in pleasing God.

One other side benefit to this, besides a clean conscience, is that obedience clears the vision. She may find she has more compassion for her husband. She may see that he has tried many times to show leadership and met with nothing but hindrances, discouragement and criticism. Some men just aren’t up to it. They know that whatever they try to do will only provoke an argument, and they just don’t think it’s worth it. And most men refuse to receive leadership training from their wives.

A man who is consistently respected, treated with courtesy and honor in his home, has far more inspiration to lead his family. He will rise to the occasion most of the time. But I believe many husbands are running on fumes when it comes to the respect they receive from their wives and children. If they had a tank full, their families might see something they’ve never seen before.

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10 thoughts on “Stick to Your Duties

  1. Would you mind expanding on this a little more? Ways we can respect him? How to handle when he’s making a poor decision (though not sinful)? How to handle it when children are involved – for example if I’ve been working hard all day to show them Christ’s love and he comes home and shows them the world’s lack of love? What do I say when they look to me knowing they’re being wronged??

  2. Here are a few suggestions, Beka. Respect means treating with courtesy, deference, and honor. So, if your husband comes home beat up from the world, show HIM Christ’s love, that same love you have been showing the kids all day.
    Pray for him before he gets home. Think of ways the kids can honor him when he arrives. Prepare for him. And if he is abrupt or discourteous, show him (and the children) how to apply the Bible in such cases, returning good for evil. A soft answer turns away wrath, etc.
    I’m not saying any of this is easy.But it is what the Bible requires, and God never requires anything of us that He will not enable us to do by His grace.
    And if you think he is making a poor decision, then I encourage you to pray for him, give him your input respectfully, and let him know that you will back him 100%, even if he decides to do something you disagree with. That is, after all, what submission really is. It’s not about backing him when you think he is being brilliant. That’s easy. It’s about supporting him when you disagree with him.

  3. I find this to be a very helpful encouragment and reminder. Though not in this situation myself, I have walked closely with a friend who was. It seems to me that it is a real opportunity to die to self and be sanctified. Because it is so hard, reminders and supportive encouragment to obey God’s Word and not give in to self-pity and indignation are so helpful. Thank you.

  4. “it is a real opportunity to die to self and be sanctified. Because it is so hard,”
    This is so very true. The silence on this post seems almost eerie. I don’t think it is because this is something nobody can relate to. I believe the opposite may be true, but it is hard to discuss this without slandering our husbands and complaining.
    When we see anyone in this situation, we must minister carefully and prayfully. Always pointing the wife to scripture and to honoring her man. Regardless how low she might have to bend her head to do so.

  5. I think we all know of situations where a lady who loves to read has married a man who is more of a doer. In the worst circumstances, of course, she ends up a little frustrated. I know you’ve talked about this before, but would you mind commenting again? Suppose a husband is a little passive, and suppose also that the wife isn’t badgering him, and has cheerfully accepted his leadership style, but is still wondering how to proceed. Do you advise such a lady to back off the reading a bit so she doesn’t tempt herself by creating so many situations where she feels like she knows way more than he does?

  6. I’ve heard you/Pastor Wilson comment before about if the husband is not taking care of something, the wife should not rush in to “fix” everything. How far does this go esp. concerning raising children?

  7. Clarie,
    It’s true that wives can get ahead of their husbands in their study of theology. That isn’t the problem. The problem is when they alienate their husbands by becoming arrogant about their studies or resist their husband’s leadership because they feel superior. So if a woman can remain humble with her booklearning, I don’t see why she should be held back. But if it causes her to stumble, I think she should ditch it.
    If a husband is being lazy and not going to work and the bills are piling up, it is mighty tempting for a wife to jump in and find a way to cover for him. If she calls her parents and borrows the money, she is subsidizing his irresponsibility. Of course, every situation will be different, but the basic principle is that men should have to feel the consequences of their behavior rather than having a wife who is playing the mother for him. Obviously in a situation like this, the wife suffers the consequences as well, and that is why she wants to jump in to protect the family.Your question about raising children is very broad. She should certainly be giving her input about what she sees, but always courteously, not in anger and not with a patronizing spirit.

  8. Thanks for this post, Mrs. Wilson. I’ve read it before and I’m glad I stumbled upon it again tonight. The Lord gave me a very sudden jolt this afternoon about the disrespectful attitude I’ve had lately toward my husband as we’ve been working through some problems that go waaaay back.
    Praise the Lord we are both trying to right these situations, but the temptation to be bitter, or feel I have the right not to respect him for these errors is strong. This post is one I’m going to read and reread over the coming weeks. Always am encouraged my you and your lovely family. God bless you.

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